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Think a three-day weekend isn’t enough time to enjoy an international getaway? Think again. There are some foreign destinations that are easily doable over a long weekend. These destinations are especially ideal for an epic long weekend you won’t soon forget.
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Bermuda is not only internationally-renowned for its stunning pink sand beaches, but this British overseas territory situated in the mid-Atlantic is just a two-hour flight from Boston, New York or DC, or three hours from Atlanta or Miami. While it may not be in a tropical locale, the weather in late May will be pleasantly warm with highs averaging in the upper 70s and the water temperatures nearly as warm. Outside of those spectacular stretches of sand, you can also explore its rich maritime history, much of which can be found among the well-preserved colonial architecture and cobblestone alleys of St. George as well as the old cannon-laden forts. If you’re daring, you can even ride a jet ski into the Bermuda Triangle.
Vancouver is one of the world’s most beautiful cities with its mountain and seaside setting. It offers something for everyone from nature to culture lovers, and late spring is one of the best times to enjoy it. If you live in the Pacific Northwest, it’s a fairly short drive away, or a quick and inexpensive flight from many other cities throughout the west. Look forward to lush gardens with eye-popping color from the flowers in bloom, walking through lush Stanley Park, whale watching and all sorts of city pleasures like world-class museums, art, theater, shopping and dining.
If you’re thinking lots of sun and sand, you might want to head south to the beautiful beaches of Baja California Sur, Mexico. Direct flights from Phoenix, L.A. and San Diego will bring you to Cabo San Lucas in only a little over two hours. Cabo sits at the southern tip of the Baja peninsula between the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific. It’s home to many high-end resorts and upscale eateries that serve tasty local cuisine like smoked marlin, as well as offering an exciting party scene. It’s the ultimate getaway for those who want to enjoy the water, and perhaps a little romance, with Lover’s Beach boasting some amazing caves, rock formations, and strikingly clear azure waters.
Guatemala can be reached in just three hours from Miami, five from New York City or four from Dallas. You’ll fly into Guatemala City, and from there Antigua is just an hour’s shuttle ride away. This charming colonial town is safe and particularly alluring, with its cobbled streets lined with magnificent cathedrals, colorful storefronts and tree-lined parks. It’s also often delightfully tourist crowd-free. Sample the street food paired with a cold brew and then burn it all off by hiking one of the soaring volcanoes that surround the town. Or, if you want to venture out further, check out one of the countless towns around the shores of Lake Atitlan.
Costa Rica is another fantastic tropical Central American destination that can easily be reached from just about any point in the U.S. It offers 800 miles of coastline filled with gorgeous beaches and a whole lot more. The Arenal Volcano area is considered its adventure capital, with the opportunity to rappel down a waterfall, hike in the jungle while watching out for colorful birds, monkeys and sloths, enjoy a thrilling zip-line ride and soak in the volcano-fed hot springs.
The second largest city in Canada after Toronto, Montreal is not only beautiful, cheap and easy flights can often be found from many cities throughout the eastern U.S. and the Midwest. Once in this French-speaking city that sits on an island in the Saint Lawrence River, you can explore Vieux-Montreal in a horse-drawn carriage, taking in the European flavor as you ride along the cobblestone streets, gazing up at the grand historic buildings. In the heart of the city sits one of the world’s most breathtaking botanical gardens which boasts more than 22,000 plant species and cultivars, fabulous for wandering through on a pleasantly warm late spring day.
Flights to Belize City are probably much quicker than you think – just two-and-a-half hours from Houston and three hours from Miami or Atlanta. It’s one of the world’s best places for snorkeling, with some of the clearest turquoise waters you’ll ever lay eyes on, not to mention the abundance of tropical fish, rays and other marine life. While the Great Barrier Reef may be bigger, many find that Belize offers an even better experience.
From Miami, Cartagena is just a three-hour flight away, or five from New York City. Located on the northern coast of Columbia facing the Caribbean, you’ll find brilliant blue waters with coral reefs that edge white powdery beaches and a whole lot more. The 500-hundred year-old coral stone forts and much of the walled city are admirably intact and represent some of the finest examples of civil and military architecture of the Spanish colonial times. The cobblestone streets are lined with colorful structures, providing the ideal setting for romantic strolls.
Those in the west might want to head to the heart of the Canadian Rockies to explore the beautiful village of Banff, situated in the heart of the country’s oldest and most beloved national parks. It’s just a 90-minute flight from Seattle or a little over two hours from San Francisco to Calgary, followed by a scenic drive or trip on the Banff Airporter Bus. Enjoy hiking to some of the world’s most beautiful lakes, like Lake Louise and Moraine Lake, this not-to-be-missed attraction is stunning any time of the year but in late spring and early summer, when the water levels rise and cast a striking shade of blue, it’s a sight you’ll never forget. Other highlights include soaking in hot springs and riding the Banff Gondola for a bird’s-eye view of the breathtaking landscape.